Making Working From Home Work.

As a mom, it’s hard to beat working from home—at least part of the time. It offers increased autonomy, saves wasted hours en route to work and can provide schedule flexibility. Also called flexplace and telecommuting, this arrangement is offered by 30% of employers, according to Hewitt Associates. About five million Americans work from home and over half of small businesses are home-based, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. But is it right for you?


1. Make Your Decision

As you consider the work-from-home approach:

 


Assess your job.
Certain jobs simply require face-time; others can be accomplished remotely without missing a beat. Make a list of your responsibilities and brainstorm about how some or all could be completed from home. You may find a partial work-from-home arrangement is your best bet.

 


Assess your space.
Depending on the nature of your job, you may need a quiet home office area with a separate phone line, appropriate wiring, and room for the basics: your work space, computer, printer, fax machine, daily materials, and ongoing files. Think through your work requirements and space at home. If you’re going to meet with clients, for example, a professional-looking work space is key unless you can schedule meetings at your local Starbucks.

 


Assess yourself.
Working in your pajamas may initially sound like career nirvana, but think honestly about your personality and productivity. If you’d go crazy without the socialization of colleagues or you focus best with a manager down the hall, flexplace may not be ideal for you.


2. Make it Happen


Interested? You have two options: make a pitch to your management or look for a new job that offers work-from-home flexibility.

 

To make your pitch to management, start by writing a proposal that can’t be dismissed without serious consideration. Your challenge? Convincing your employer you can maintain productivity and consistent communication from home. Detail how your work can be accomplished between home and the office and strategies for keeping in touch. You could propose a partial work-from-home arrangement at first, starting with one or two days a week away from the office. After a few months, you could assess how things are going and potentially ramp up to additional days at home.

 

3. Make it Work

Ready to give it a shot? Depending on the nature of your position, you may need to go into the office occasionally for meetings and updates, and you’re expected to have childcare during your workdays at home. To be successful:


Give yourself space. Set up a work environment that’s conducive to getting the job done.


Create structure. You’re at home. By yourself. With no manager dropping by or colleagues looking over your shoulder to keep you on task. It can be really hard to stay focused. Try to minimize distractions by following a daily, prioritized to-do list, creating deadlines that keep you motivated, and trying to do the most dreaded things first.

dcd_sweetie
04.22.09

It's easier to make working from home a reality when it involves throwing chocolate parties for your friends! To find a chocolatier in your area or to find out more about becoming one, go to www.dovechocolatediscoveries.com.

Follow me on twitter:dcd_sweetie

ecddvm
08.23.08

Hi Louisiana! I went to college at LA Tech! I'm now in IL. I have a full time JOB and wish to have more time with my two kids and be a home. I have started with a network marketing company that it not a scam and I love and have made money, earned 2 trips, and got a BBQ grill! My goal is to replace my income to not work and i'm working on it! Email me at ecddvm@aol.com and can talk more.

g041198
08.22.08

I live in Louisiana and I have been searching endlessly for real at home jobs. I always find the ones that require money to start or me to buy products every month and beg others to buy them, I would love to be able to find a real job that requires real work not scamming. I worked in with special ed. children in my own childrens school until I had my baby. I simply made myself sick with guilt about leaving her ti return to work and decieded to stay home. Upon nedeing to return this year My job was gone. I need to supplement our income but hate to do so at my childrens cost. So if anyone knows of any work that is real please tell me. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You

g041198
08.22.08

I live in Louisiana and I have been searching endlessly for real at home jobs. I always find the ones that require money to start or me to buy products every month and beg others to buy them, I would love to be able to find a real job that requires real work not scamming. I worked in with special ed. children in my own childrens school until I had my baby. I simply made myself sick with guilt about leaving her ti return to work and decieded to stay home. Upon nedeing to return this year My job was gone. I need to supplement our income but hate to do so at my childrens cost. So if anyone knows of any work that is real please tell me. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You

squeakere
06.17.08

I'm glad it isn't just me. I occasionally work from home (usually if I have an appointment closer to home that makes it silly to drive 45 minutes to work and 45 minutes back), and I swear, every time one of the first things I end up doing is cleaning the litter box (currently housed in the laundry room) and vacuuming the floor in whatever room I'm working in (usually at the kitchen table unless I need to print something).

betsystreeter
04.14.08

Okay I realize that I'm the cartoonist here, so you may think this is silly, but it's a real work-at-home issue that I just mentioned in my blog - the cat box. Seriously, sometimes the thing smells so bad I can't even think. So if you do have a feline friend, or a few, I'd recommend either locating the box really far from your home office or taking advantage of wireless technology to go outside with your laptop until the air clears. I'm not kidding - stuff like this can really make you feel, well, unprofessional.